March

Top toasters: The CNC toaster printer

Save the rainforests by printing out your emails, not on paper, but on toast. This marvel of toaster technology is essentially a computer-controlled printer that shoots hot air rather than ink at the bread. The possibilities are endless, if slightly pointless.

On keeping a healthy “downstairs”

So seldom in these trying times can one find an authority to turn to for tips on how to keep one’s “excretory organs” in fine fettle, so thank heavens for Dr Allinson’s ageless advice. Incidentally, we’re guessing that the august physician had yet to launch his own bread brand when he offered this comment...

The last-ever bakery film?

Last week, Stop the Week brought you news of the first-ever outing of a hitman-turned-baker (that we know of, at least), in the new film The Baker. Despite our high hopes, it’s proven to be off-target with the critics. The Guardian called it “a slow, dim affair [that] lacks dramatic yeast”, and The Independent gave it one star and said: “[Director] Gareth Lewis’ gift for comic dialogue is doubtful and his idea of farce – a supposedly raunchy sex scene involving food – is embarrassing”. Could this mark the early death of bakery-themed cinema?

French fancy

Paris-Nord Villepinte will play host to this year's Europain & Intersuc exhibition, which welcomes confectionery and bakery professionals from around the world.

Ways to glaze

The equipment bakers use for applying spray coatings and glazes ranges from basic hand-held spray bottles to highly sophisticated automated systems. Spray automation has huge potential for raising production efficiency, reducing wastage of labour and materials and improving product consistency. But do costs rule it out for all except the biggest firms in the industry? Many smaller and medium-sized bakeries may think so and baulk at the prospective costs of automating, or even mechanising, their spray operations.

Labour of love

The coffee shop culture is not a new concept in the Lake District National Park, but recently, the trend has been reaching out to those in search of more than just the afternoon treat of tea and scones. Forward-thinking bakery owners Phil and Ruth Eastwood, a husband-and-wife team, say they will soon be accommodating 'Stitch 'n Bitch nights', in a newly opened café area next to their Oak Street Bakery in Windermere.

Chasing the dream

Disgruntled with the humdrum of the busy city life, Barry Hawthorne moved to the Isle of Skye from Cape Town. Captivated by the moody Scottish countryside, it's here that he set up his pet project - a bakery called The Isle of Skye Baking Company.

Pullins in a new direction

Angela Pullin's arrival into her parents' business has brought a renewed vigour, plus a slice of not inconsiderable marketing and PR nous. In four short years, she has helped pull Pullins beyond its traditional markets, culminating in canny new branding and packaging last year. What's more, she says, this modernising bakery has since set its sights on breaking out of its south-west stronghold by taking on a more diverse client base.

Living on the edge

Are you a senior executive or director? Are you also one of an increasing number of people who, internally, feel under pressure to perform at levels that are not sustainable, but without which, your future is insecure? The pressure comes from fearing what might happen if you do not perform to the requested level.

Getting Dressed to sell

Being with it and modern is very difficult these days. There are those who tell me it is old-fashioned to wear a tie and jacket on even semi- formal occasions.

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